Building Resilient Inclusive Communities (BRIC) Program

January 2021 – December 2022

The purpose of BRIC is to promote healthy living and reduce social isolation during the COVID pandemic. Our PRC and Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services-Missouri Physical Activity and Nutrition Program lead the BRIC program serving high need areas of St. Louis City and County.

Project Goals

  • Nutrition security:
    • Improve equitable access to healthy foods at food distribution sites, including new efforts resulting from COVID-19
    • Collaborate with food coalitions on equitable nutrition security
    • Support efforts to increase in people receiving healthier foods, considering changes in demand during COVID-19
  • Physical activity access:
    • Enhance fair access to safe places for physical activity and travel through community engagement and plan development
    • Collaborate with coalitions that support safe, equitable physical activity
    • Support a local improvement plan that includes community design assessment to improve safe and equitable access to physical activity
  • Social connectedness:
    • Promote opportunities to connect older adults socially isolated due to COVID-19 through community engagement and plan development
    • Efforts to deliver:
      1. Community strategies integrating social connectedness for older adults at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19;
      2. Online and in-person educational, social, creative and physical activity programs supporting regular interactions and community involvement in already existing programs
      3. Equitable Intergenerational Mentoring Programs to foster healthy, on-going relationships between older adults and youth

Implications of Research & Practice

A key strategy of our BRIC program is increased community engagement from neighborhood residents that guides the adoption of solutions that meet their specific needs.

Our program is partnering with local community organizations and champions to develop multi-modal transportation solutions responsive to the needs of the community.

In collaboration with Equitable Cities and National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), our program will integrate the calm streets work with local alderpersons into the recommended transportation solutions.

Project Contact

Diana Parra Perez,

Project Staff

Principal Investigator: Diana Parra Perez, PhD, MPH

Co-Investigator: Cindy Deblaw

Program Manager: Eric Weidenman, PhD, MPH, MS

Project Partners

A Red Circle; Be Well Cafe; Bi-State Development; Emerson YMCA; Elevating Voices of Leaders Vying for Equity (EVOLVE); Fit and Food Connection; Metro Market; Missouri Coalition for the Environment; Operation Food Search; St. Louis Area Agency on Aging; St. Louis Food Area Bank; St. Louis Public Library; Trailnet; and Urban Harvest

Funding Source

National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) Contract 2852021

Related Resources


BRIC partner, EVOLVE developed this Food Audit Toolkit, a resource to support community stakeholders in assessing and activating the changes they want to see in their food environments. This was developed in partnership with the SLU School of Public Health & Social Justice and the City of St. Louis Health Department.